U.S. online shop and mail-order sales of drugs, health and beauty aids 2003-2017

This timeline shows the sales figures for drugs, health aids and beauty aids of U.S. electronic shopping and mail-order houses since 2003. In 2017, the value of e-commerce sales of pharmaceuticals and beauty aids was 35.7 billion U.S. dollars, up from 31.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

Drugs, health and beauty industry in the United States - additional information

The total value of retail trade sales in the United States amounted to 5.04 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017, a considerable rise from the four trillion figure a decade earlier. The drugs, health and personal care segment in the United States is not the largest on the retail market, being surpassed, among others, by the apparel and accessories and food and beverages industries. However, according to recent data, pharmacy and drug store sales amounted to about 276.92 billion U.S. dollars in the United States in 2017. Over the counter medication accounted for over 42 billion U.S. dollars in sales during the same year.

As of 2014, the drug store market leader is Walgreens, with more than eight thousand stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and 49 million U.S. dollars in sales of prescription drugs alone. The second is CVS Health, with more than 7,800 CVS Pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores across the United States, as well as with reported sales of prescription drugs worth over 45 million U.S. dollars. As of 2014, there are some 4.08 billion retail prescriptions filled annually in the United States, a number which is expected to grow steadily up to 4.78 billion by 2021.

Approximately eight percent of the total retail sales value in the United States, some 260 million U.S. dollars, is represented by e-commerce sales, which are on the rise worldwide, as a result of the ubiquity of desktop and mobile computers and devices. Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017 for online revenues of the health and beauty category is expected amount to 14.2 percent. The share of health and personal care sales is expected to account for 5.7 percent of total retail e-commerce sales in the United States in 2015. Additionally, more and more U.S. Americans turn to the internet not only to buy their drugs, health and beauty products, but also for medical advice, with websites such as WebMD and Drugs.com becoming increasingly popular.

U.S. online shop and mail-order sales of drugs, health and beauty products from 2003 to 2017

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Release date

April 2019


United States

Survey time period

2003 to 2017

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Statistics on "Beauty and personal care e-commerce in the United States"

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